We love sharing these personal profiles of our favourite Australian professional photographers! Find out all about the person behind the lens in our Q&A series.
New Leaves Photography, Wagga Wagga New South Wales
How did you get started as a photographer?
I’ve always been interested in arts and photography, my parents were amazing at keeping photographic memories of our family (at the time I hated posing for all those photos but now that I’m grown with my own kids, I am so grateful we have them!) and they supported my interest from very early on. We moved to America just before I turned 18 and the travels that ensued were a great source of creative inspiration for my photos. I loved capturing landscapes and animals. I moved back to Australia as a young adult, and got married and stuck around!
Once I had my first daughter in 2012, this is when I really became obsessed with portrait photography, wanting to take better photos of my own kids. I threw myself into education and courses, invested in some equipment, practised A LOT and have been taking photos basically every day since! In photography, I get to combine all my passions: people, art and tech.
What did life look like before photography?
I studied psychology and then special needs teaching! On the side I also wrote children’s books and illustrated a line of education resources. I love kids and have a keen interest in mental health. These studies have actually helped me to be a more patient, understanding photographer, as well as inclusive to those with special needs, and parents experiencing post-partum mental health challenges. My deepest hope is that when a family comes into my studio, that they feel safe, welcome and validated.
Tell us about a day in the life of a professional photographer …
On my typical work day, I head over to the studio, where I make sure everything is clean and ready for my clients! I answer emails, confirm appointments, do all that admin stuff. Then I welcome my families into the studio and we spend a few hours playing/chatting/snuggling and taking photos. After this I can’t wait to unload the photos! I edit a couple of sneak peeks, post on social media, then get tucked back into editing galleries. I am then also ordering prints, constructing print collections, and doing more admin and website updates as needed. At sunset, I am often at a paddock or the park taking more photos! Then home to the kiddos.
On a non-work day, I homeschool my kids and cart them around to their activities, and do all the housework, haha! My husband and I tag team our parental and work responsibilities! 😀
Do you have a special story to share?
I have so many special stories and memories, but I have to say, it is so special to me when I get a cuddle from a child at the end of their session, or they don’t want to go home. It’s such a great feeling, to know they had fun!
One of the funniest things about my job is that even over 500 newborns shoots, I still remember their parents names, and what they do for work! I really listen and am interested in people! I have so much to learn from those around me and am always up for a chat!
If you could photograph 1 thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Or maybe Christmas sessions… I do love Christmas. A lot.
What is the best thing about your job?
I think the best thing about being a family photographer for me is just seeing families come back through the years. We have done so much life together, good seasons and difficult ones. I get to be there at the beginning, and sometimes at the end, too.
I’ve been invited into intimate family moments like birthday parties, and christenings, and also difficult seasons, with health challenges and goodbyes. Photographing life and love is truly an honour. It’s not just a job to me, it’s a passion, and every connection I make is very real.
Tell us something we don’t know about professional photography …
I think some might not realise how much TIME goes into running a photography business. We are always educating ourselves, learning & growing which consumes a lot of time behind the scenes, but we’re also very often tied to a computer or phone communicating with clients back and forward — before we have even met and taken a single photo, I’ve already spent a considerable amount of time on your session! Haha!
And you’re not just paying for some photos or prints, you’re paying for the skill, years of training, attention to detail, collection of appropriate props and equipment and the TIME of a creative professional. There is so much communication involved in photography; this is why being good with people is just as important as being good with a camera 😉
If you weren’t a photographer, what would you be doing?
Tough choice between writing and illustrating children’s books, or being a counsellor.
Here’s a blank cheque! What are you going to spend it on for your business?
A 200mm f/2.0 lens and more backdrops!
If you could photograph someone famous, who would it be and why?
To be completely honest, I am rather unfussed by fame. I’ll happily photograph ANYONE who is fun, loves their family, and willing to just go with the creative flow 😀
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